Long Term Care Insurance for Mom (or Dad)

How Much Do You Need?

Long Term Care Insurance:  How Much Do You Need?

Long Term Care Insurance How Much Do You Need?

There is a shocking gap between what we think we are going to need as we age and what we actually need.  In a recent article in Forbes Magazine (http://www.forbes.com/sites/carolynrosenblatt/2015/06/03/what-will-it-cost-if-you-have-to-financially-support-your-aging-parents/), the author cited a survey that said 1/3 of all seniors believe they will need extended care before they die.  The actual US data is 70% will need this type of care, or over 2/3!

Some states still have filial laws on the books – laws that allow a nursing home or assisted living to bill an adult child for the costs of their parent’s long term care.  This should sound the alarm bell for nearly every one of us in our 40’s thru 60’s.  If we have aging parents, we need to be sure there is a plan in place to address this need.  All too often, families will run up on the rocky shoals of extended long term care and a daughter or daughter-in-law will have to quit a job, or give up retirement years to be the care giver.  This takes a shocking toll on the care giver and the care giver’s family.  If this option is not possible or if this care giver finally is just worn out, the other solution is to pay for the long term care out of the parent’s assets until they have hit poverty and can qualify for Medicaid (the Welfare program).  But Medicaid mostly ends up as a shared room in a low-end nursing home especially in cities where private pay facilities don’t always take Medicaid clients.  Medicaid can frequently be a strange, run-down building in a lower-rent district in town.

You can also purchase long term care insurance that would off-set some or all of the cost.  Many instances we have seen children banning together to pay for the premium so that there are resources to help care for their aging parent down the years.  Don’t wait too late to look into it, though, if you think you will go this route.

Applicants have to health qualify and very few folks over 70 can get thru underwriting to approval for coverage.  Working with a qualified professional can help you navigate all the choices and keep the premium affordable.

Clearly we encourage people to talk with their parents about this.  Be realistic – where will each person be in the life cycle when care happens?  Will the daughter be working still?  Will her health be good enough to provide care or does she already have back problems that would bar lifting?  Can we share among family or is that going to produce family tensions and friction?  Is there enough resources to pay for long term care fully?  Do you need some estate planning done now while you still have time?  Can you buy insurance?

If you have had these types of questions and have no answers, we recommend you read the book “Handing Down the Kingdom” (available at Amazon).  It does a very nice job of laying out some strategies and ways to work thru planning for yourself as well as helping parent’s navigate their way to 90 and beyond.



Leave a Reply